How our life has changed since Ian and I moved from Spain to Minnesota in June 2005.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
An Auld Macdonald Farm Autumn
We are still enjoying mild weather for this time of year in Minnesota. The temps are in the 50s, but once in a while it creeps into the 60s and with sunshine it’s down right balmy. I admit to dragging out my winter coat for the frost-on-the-pumpkin mornings, but stripped it off by 10am because it was just too warm. A sure sign of the coming winter is that the horses are getting fuzzier and are busy packing on extra winter weight.
We have accomplished a lot this season. With Carl’s help we got five of the seven young horses started. The two 2008 Legacys Renoir+ daughters are left (Princess and Bey B) and I don’t know if we’ll get them going this year or not. I really wanted to show them (sell them) as 4-year-old Western Pleasure Junior horses in 2012, along with Half Arabian palomino mare Tango, who as you can see looks gorgeous under saddle, but there is only so much time, energy and money. Plus, not having an indoor arena to work in during the wet, cold winter months really puts things on hold. That said, we’re still counting our blessings. We did sell AMF Troublesomes Kiss (Kisses, pictured above), our 2007 bay purebred mare, to a teenage girl and her family from River Falls, Wisconsin. That was a very good match and this buyer came to us via Facebook. Hurray for social media.
This month we had three more Ritchie Omni Fountains installed and had a hydrant put in the barn. The Omnis are heated, automatic watering stations. We had one installed shortly after we moved to this farm in 2009, and its been very reliable. We got another one just like it (Omni 2) and two Omni 1 units that will serve each of the two new stallion paddocks that are built near the barn. These paddocks are fenced with six strands of high-tensile electric and each has its own shelter. The second installed Omni 2 will sit on the fence line that will segment the mares pasture. We will reconfigure the gelding/colt pasture so that the original Omni 2 will water another smaller catch paddock we plan to use for young horses (weanlings and yearlings) or horses that need extra feeding care.
The next big project will be scraping clean the barn’s dirt floor and building more box stalls, which can be completed during the winter months. We expect to only have one or two horses inside for the winter, which will give us room to build. Ian builds sturdy, attractive box stalls and I look forward to having a barn full.
Ian continues to work as a Senior Business Consultant. His latest gig is in the health insurance field and he likes it very much. I recently left VOA since my position was eliminated when one of the residents changed locations. I was the Thursday-Saturday overnight awake manager, but with the resident change the position became overnight asleep manager with a pay cut. Ian had been asking me to quit working weekend overnights for some months and this seemed an opportune time. I continue freelancing for the online France travel magazine BonjourParis as its Editor and have done since May. My work for BP has inspired me to take classes at a literary center in Minneapolis to explore how to build a career as a freelance writer; ideally writing/publishing more travel pieces and polishing my Arabian horse enthusiast writing.
With a little more time on my hands at home, I am going to take on the project of painting. Ian and I have selected jazzy yellow for the living room, dining room and kitchen walls. I have a green that I like for the bathroom and the upstairs bedrooms and office will be shades of cappuccino or mocha. We are also going to rip out the carpet. Who the heck puts an off-white carpet in a farmhouse? We’re installing laminate flooring in the (currently carpeted) living room and dining room and will eventually do the same for the three rooms upstairs (2 bedrooms, 1 office). The stairway will be stripped of its carpet too. We will stain the tread and riser wood then install a carpet runner with brass stair rods. I may also get around to replacing the kitchen cabinet door/drawer handles. We have the replacements, but Ian’s Honey Do List has been quite long this year.
Mom (87 in July) is doing fine. She had an infection of some kind last week that threw her for a loop, but the Veterans Home caregivers are really tippy top and got her on a cycle of antibiotics right away and she bounced right back.
Next week, Ian and I celebrate nine years of marriage. Wow! To celebrate, this Saturday, we’re going to the horse show extravaganza Cavalia, which soon wraps up its tour in Minneapolis.
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Lookin For Trouble, Ian & me (Janet) pictured. I worked in PR for almost 20 years and now work in the Travel & Leisure world. Ian works as a business analyst. We were living in Spain, but in 2005 to be closer to most of our children and to my parents, we decided to move from Catalonia to Minnesota. I am a mother of two sons Richard (1980) in Minneapolis and Michael (1977), who lives/works in Barcelona with his Catalan wife, Natalia. Ian’s children, Alexandra (1989) and Peter (1992), live in Canada. My father is Nicaraguan and lives in Managua. My mother is American from Scotch, Irish, French, British extraction. Ian (1956) is British with good Scottish roots. We enjoy our Arabian horses, listening to public radio news, travel, and cooking programs, plus TV shows like The Amazing Race, Downton Abbey, and Call The Midwife. This blog is about our various life adventures since coming to the US in 2005.